Finally, the Rock has come back to Capitol Hill and the Pentagon.
Yes, really. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, one of the biggest movie stars currently and the man who once helped break the news of SEAL Team 6’s successful killing of Osama bin Laden (again: yes, really), stopped by the halls of the Pentagon this week as part of a wider trip to the area. He talked with military and government leaders about several topics, including how to combat poor military recruitment numbers.
The People’s Champion visited the Pentagon on Nov. 15. His main reason for the stop was to meet with U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy A. George. However, the self-proclaimed Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment also took the time to meet with servicemembers at the Pentagon, stopping for selfies and group photos.
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The Rock also met with Senators of both parties in Washington, D.C. They discussed the military but also the XFL (Johnson is an owner). Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who arranged the meeting, said that Johnson is “going to advocate for people to join the military over a period of time,” according to NBC4 Washington. What that and the two meetings mean specifically — if Johnson will appear in recruitment ads or use his large social media presence to advocate for enlisting — was not specified. However Tester did note Johnson’s large following.
Currently the military is struggling with bringing in new troops. The Army fell short of its goal two years in a row, while the end of the previous fiscal year in September saw the Air Force and Navy also fail to meet their goals. Different branches have tried several options, including enlistment bonuses and other incentives. The Army has been on a media push — after pulling a series of ads starring an actor going through legal trouble — lately with its “First Steps” ad series. The latest, “Jump,” came out earlier this month.
Alongside the recruiting challenges the military is facing, there still remain several vacancies for military leadership roles due to Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala) blocking votes on nominees and promotions.
Johnson himself is not a veteran, but he has a history of working with the Pentagon. He’s recorded holiday greeting videos for overseas servicemembers and performed concerts for troops (the latter including him dressed as Elvis).
Presumably there were no jabronis in attendance at the Pentagon on Wednesday.
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